for businesses, industry, and individuals, they have to go elsewhere. and when they go elsewhere, jobs go elsewhere. your entire economy begins to suffer with the lack of clean water. narrator: while the water infrastructure provides for our health, safety, and economy, a growing concern is that the value society derives from water has not traditionally been reflected in the price we pay for water. man: when you take a look at how much people pay for water, as a percentage of median household income, it's usually less than 1%. and when you compare that to how much we pay for electricity and gas, cable tv, and internet, the bottom line is, in the united states, we don't pay a heck of a lot for water. curtis: at an average cost of about $2.50 for 1,000 gallons of tap water, it is a great bargain.